Minnesota actor who played 'sultry Batman villainess' dies at 80

The 80-year-old, who was born in Aurora, Minnesota, passed away at her home in Los Angeles on Sunday, according to the Hollywood Reporter. She had been battling cancer.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

From humble beginnings in Minnesota's Iron Range, Francine York went on to a glittering Hollywood career as an actor and "international sex symbol" who shared the screen with Marlon Brando and Elvis Presley.

The 80-year-old, who was born in Aurora, Minnesota, passed away at her home in Los Angeles on Sunday, according to the Hollywood Reporter. She had been battling cancer.

Her back catalog is extensive, starting with her big break in 1962 when Jerry Lewis cast her in his film It's Only Money, before she went on to appear opposite Brando and David Niven in 1964's Bedtime Story and rock legend Elvis in Tickle Me in 1965.

She is perhaps best known for her role in 1973 cult movie The Doll Squad, in which she played the leader of an "elite team of gorgeous female assassins who attempt to stop a diabolical madman from destroying the world with a deadly plague virus."

Using feminine wiles was a common theme among her earlier roles, including what she described as her time playing "sultry villainess" Lydia Limpet in the first season of ABC's Batman in 1966, operating as a henchwoman of Roddy McDowall's "The Bookworm."

She also appeared as Venus De Milo in an episode of Bewitched and played Marilyn Monroe in Marilyn: Alive and Behind Bars.

Her family moved from Aurora to Ohio when York was just five years old, according to her website, before they returned to the Iron Range when she was 12.

It was there while attending the Aurora High School that she won the Miss Eveleth contest at the age of 17, before becoming a runner up in the Miss Minnesota contest.

She moved to Minneapolis and got a job modeling sweaters for Jane Richards Sportswear before moving to San Francisco and eventually Los Angeles, where she was cast in her first movie while working as a showgirl.

Among her more recent credits was an appearance playing the mother-in-law of Nicolas Cage in 2000 film The Family Man.

Next Up

Related